If you want a taste of all the facets of Vietnam – from its natural landscapes to its history, culture, and cuisine, this trip is perfect for you. The Central Vietnam Adventures Tour by ProVacation will take you on a fascinating journey across three ancient cities in the Central Province. Each of these cities has a rich imperial as well as modern military history and houses a variety of cultural monuments. Each city is also surrounded by lush green fields or forests, beaches, and mountains. Visit the ancient imperial city of Hue and explore the palaces, tombs and citadels built by the emperors of the past. Cruise along the Perfume River to experience riverside life in Vietnam and visit the various sites of the Vietnam War. Admire the exotic landscape of the Bach Ma National Park, and enjoy snorkelling and swimming in the beaches of the Cham Islands. Learn about rural lives and livelihoods by cycling along the handicraft villages of Hoi An. Learn to make lanterns and take cooking classes at local homes, and enjoy a kayak ride along the river to enjoy a breath-taking sunset along the Hoi An pier.
What is included in the tour
- All meals and beverages as specified in the itinerary
- All local transport and boat transfers
- Local guides who speak English
- All local permits and tickets
- All services as defined in the itinerary
What is NOT included in the tour
- Meals/beverages not specified in the itinerary
- Travel insurance (if any)
- Local guides with additional language skills
- Any other services not specified in the itinerary
- Explore the imperial city of Hue
- Visit the Bach Ma National Park
- Enjoy snorkelling and swimming at the Cham Islands
- Visit the many war sites of Hue and Danang
- Learn about local crafts in Hoi An
- Arrive at the riverside city of Hue – the capital of Vietnam’s last royal dynasty. Your car will pick you up from the Phu Bai International Airport, and you will be taken to your hotel. Take your time to freshen up and have your choice of lunch. After having rested, go on to explore this ancient city teeming with the rich history of the Vietnamese monarchy. Situated on the banks of the fragrant Perfume River, Hue is a seventeenth-century city that is still home to the ancient royal buildings. Visit the 200-year-old Hue Citadel that was built for the use of the royal household. The royal complex of Hue has been rightly declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. As you take a walk through the Imperial Yellow City and the Forbidden Purple City, observe the palaces, tombs and pagodas, all designed in the tradition of the Nguyen Dynasty. Go on to take a tour around the old quarters on a cycle rickshaw and discover many fascinating sights and sounds. Pass by local houses and old shops as you weave through the streets. You may find a café tucked away in some obscure lane; do stop for a cup of coffee and some light snacks if you wish. These cafés will provide youwith a glimpse of authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
- Learn about the city’s role in the Vietnam War by visiting the former Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) along the Ben Hai River that had served as the demarcation line between North and South Vietnam. Visit some of the mostinfamous war sites at the DMZ. Visit the banks of the Ben Hai River, the Hien Luong Bridge, the KheSanh military base, the Dong Ha Town, and explore the vast, intricate network of underground tunnels at VinhMoc. Tunnels like these in various cities have played a central role in the Vietnam War, as they served as hideouts and shelters for soldiers. After enjoying lunch at a local restaurant, go on to visit the Ancient Citadel inQuang Tri. The citadel was built in 1824 as a military bastion during the reign of Minh Mang. It is an excellent example of Vauban architecture and was later on converted into an administrative head office during the rule of the Nguyen dynasty. You will arrive at your next stop as you cruise upstream to the Minh Mang Royal Tomb situated on the western bank of the river. This imperial mausoleum is an exceptional architectural example from the Nguyen period. The tomb is built on a hill covered in pine forests; surrounded by lakes and bounded by gated walls. The Sung An Temple stands within its compound. As you travel along the Perfume River, you will also be able to observe the lives of local people in the riverside villages. Return to hotel in the evening for dinner.
- Today, enjoy a slice of pristine nature with a visit to the Bach Ma National Park. Situated in the Annamite Mountains, the park is a protected forest with rich biodiversity. Your car will pick you up from the hotel early in the morning. A 60 km long drive lies ahead to reach the park. You can travel around by car inside the park as well. A 90-minute drive will take you to the top of the hill, from where you can enjoy a stunningly beautiful bird’s eye view. You will be able to view the grand 300m-high Do Quyen Waterfall. Go on to explore some walking trails where you may encounter some of the rare endemic species that the park houses. After all the walking around has helped you work up an appetite,you can enjoy your lunch at a local restaurant. Go on to explore the sea observation post called Hai Vong Dai, and admire a full view of the sea and the green sceneries surrounding it. Continue to walk through the park and learn more about its stunning flora and fauna. After returning to Hue City, you can stop for dinner at a restaurant or a Vietnamese café. If you are not too exhausted, you might want to spend some time shopping at the local markets!
- Arrive at the city of Danang, a short car-ride from Hue City. This coastal city used to be a French port during the colonial era. After checking into your hotel, go out to explore the city’s famous sites. Visit the Cham Museum that has on display some of the most beautifulChampa sculptures, along with other artefacts, some dating back to the seventh century. After having lunch at a restaurant or café, enjoy a cycle rickshaw tour along the bank of the Han River. The car will take you to one of the vibrant riverside markets. Go on to visit the Marble Mountains on the outskirts of the city. There you will view some incredibly beautiful temples, shrines and pagodas surrounded by a picturesque landscape of hills and vegetation. Don’t worry if you are feeling too tired to climb to the top of the mountain – you can always use the elevator for a little extra charge to reach there!
- Start your day with a tranquil early-morning river cruise. Your car will take you to Cua Dai, where you will board your ship. Enjoy a stunning view of the sunrise from the deck, and observe how the fleets of fishing boats return after their night-long fishing trips to the sea. View the fascinating sight of fishers unloading their catch. You will see the fishermen’s wives standing at the dock for the fish to arrive, which will now be taken to the Hoi An Market for sale. These fishermen have been trained in their skill since their childhood, and the fishing techniques have been handed down to them for generations. You will get the opportunity to be more than a spectator; you can interact with the fishermen and help them to unload their catch. Learn how to untangle fish from the nets, and also how to row a traditional bamboo basket boat. Return to your cruise for a conventional fishermen’s breakfast and coffee. Afterwards,the boat will take you to visit a local fishing village, where you can continue to make new acquaintances among the fishermen and learn a few of their fishing techniques. Join in a fun-filled bamboo basket boat race, and enjoy travelling through narrow waterways lined with coconut trees. Return to your cruise once again to go back to Danang. After lunch at your hotel, you will be free to spend the rest of the day as you wish.
- Get ready for another memorable experience of Central Vietnam as you visit the Cham Islands. They are an archipelago of seven islands, close to the Cua Dai beach. The islands are famous for their lush natural landscapes and teeming marine life. This day tour is an excellent opportunity for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. Leave your hotel after breakfast to reach the Qua Dai Quay. Enjoy the spectacular scenery as you travel to the Cham Islands on a boat. Your first stop will be at Bai Lang and Au Thuyen; they serve as shelters to local boats during fierce storms. Enjoy a walk through the vast rice fields and reach the Hai Tang Pagoda; a special place of worship particularly for the fishing communities in the Cham Islands. Return to a local village, and from there you can go for a memorable snorkelling experience at the Bai Xep Beach. Continue your exploration of the delights of the Cham Islands as you go on to the Bai Chong Beach and enjoy a swim and sunbathing. Feast on a delectable spread of seafood at the local restaurant before you return.
- In the afternoon, explore the various war sites of Danang. Drive along the picturesque coastline of the city as you pass the Marble Mountains and the Airbase. Visit the Military Museum, which displays a range of American weapons and other military artefacts used or acquired during the Vietnam War. Continue your drive along the Han River, and cross the ThuanPhuoc suspension bridge over an estuary. This drive will show you some beautiful views of fishing villages, where you can stop to take some photographs. Enjoy the beautiful Danang Bay on your way to the Son Tra Peninsula. The last stop is a nature lover's paradise, with its lush forests, mighty waterfalls, and steep hills. Immerse yourself in the tranquil natural beauty before you visit a US helicopter landing zone, the last war site on today’s list. You are sure to go back with immense satisfaction from having learned about various facets of Vietnam’s military history while enjoying some wonderful natural spaces.
- Visiting the My Son Sanctuary is an absolute essential to complete your Central Vietnam experience. The ancient My Son served as the imperial city of the Cham dynasties during the fourth and the twelfth centuries. The sanctuary is a cluster of beautiful Hindu temples that were built during the Cham era. Together, they represent more than seventy different architectural examples. The complex comprises a group of towers and temples that are interconnected through red brick designs. The tower is the central attraction in the sanctuary. After the tour of My Son, you will visit the Sa Huynh Champa Culture Museum in TraKieu for further insights into the history and culture of the Cham dynasties. After lunch at the hotel, your car will drive you to Hoi An, and your last stop on this tour. Reach Hoi An in the evening and retire early after having dinner at your hotel.
- Begin your day with a walking tour around the ancient city. Hoi An is famous for being one of the most important trading centres in Southeast Asia during the sixteenth century. Merchants from all around the world, including Western countries, frequented this city. You will discover the cosmopolitan nature of the city in its harmonious mix of Chinese and Vietnamese cultures. This mix is apparent in their architecture, dress, and food. Explore the old streets of Hoi An and the thriving local markets on this walking tour. Observe the people busily going about their daily lives, and get a glimpse of the beautiful countryside, replete with green rice fields and picturesque hamlets. Stop for lunch at a restaurant, and head back to your hotel to rest for some time. In the afternoon, reach the local pier by car, where a traditional longtail boat will be waiting to welcome you on board. Cruise on the Thu Bon River, and enjoy the riverside scenery. You will pass several islets, village farms and fishing hamlets before you reach Cam Thanh Village. Here you will learn about the celebrated bamboo craftsmanship of the Vietnamese people by visiting a local workshop. The artisan runs a family business of making a variety of bamboo products like baskets, furniture, and other household items. You will be given some lessons in bamboo craft making so that you also can try your hand in creating a product of your own! Conclude your bamboo-adventure by riding on a bamboo car to another local home. The family will be your dinner host, where you will be able to observe the traditional customs of a Vietnamese household. You will get an opportunity to help in cooking a local dish and will be rewarded with the delightful results for dinner.
- Cycling is a favourite way of commuting locally in Vietnam. Enjoy a cycling experience in the countryside of Hoi An for half a day. After a tour introduction and safety briefing, hop on to your bike and embark on a leisurely tour around the surrounding villages of Hoi An. You will observe several villages on your way that specialise in the making of a particular craft for livelihoods. You can stop to interact with the locals from different villages, and pick up some necessary skills for wood carving, mat weaving, or fish sauce making! Continue to enjoy your ride along vast stretches of green paddy fields and river banks. Enjoy lunch with a family of artisans in one of the villages.
- In the evening, experience the gorgeous sunset at Hoi An in a unique way. Reach the decided departure point for a safety briefing, and embark on a kayak to paddle to the nearby palm islands, home to the stunning Nipa Palms. The palm forest provides many local people with their source of food and livelihood, such as fish, shells and palm leaves. Continue to paddle around the island and disembark briefly at Hoi An for coffee. Afterwards, paddle along the river and reach the Hoi An pier at six ‘o clock to watch the sublime sunset.
- Spend your last day at Hoi An by taking another tour around the city by bicycle, this time on the back roads of the city, away from the crowds. Learn about another popular local craft today by visiting the famous lantern-making village. These gorgeous lanterns are symbolic of Vietnamese culture and art but are surprisingly simple to make. Learn to make apaper-lantern at a local household; it will be an excellent souvenir for you to take back home. Have lunch at your hotel after the tour, and return to Hue City for your flight. Enjoy the scenic beauty of Central Vietnam one final time on your way to Hue.